It all began during the cavemen period. A caveman was angry that he was banished from his tribe. He encountered a woman who offered him some compassion. Later, she was murdered which was the first woman murdered by man's hatred. During 1300 BCE, the goddesses of Greece organised a meeting and discussed the creation of beings that would fit under their ideals. Zeus and Ares did not approve of this, and Hera, not wanting to go against her husband opted not to involve herself. So it was left to the other five goddesses to decide. They travelled to the Well of Souls, which is the place where the souls of all women murdered by man's hatred were placed. They gathered these souls and dropped them into Greece's lake. The souls were then mixed with clay and stone from the lake bed and thus the Amazons of Themyscira were born. Hippolyta was first to emerge and then her sister Antiope. The five goddesses decided that the Amazons should spread the message of peace, tolerance and equality. Hippolyta and Antiope were each given a Golden Girdle.
Hippolyta was created by William Moulton Marston and was first penciled by Harry G. Peter up until his death. The character first appeared in All Star Comics #8, in December of 1941.
The Golden and Silver Age version of Hippolyta differs little from the classical Greek myths. She is shown as a benevolent leader of the Amazons, although her personal story is rarely referred to. The modern era reboot of Wonder Woman in 1986 gave a substantially more fleshed out background for Hippolyta, and Hippolyta would come to play a larger role in Wonder Woman stories. She is constantly seen being torn between her role as Diana's mother and her role as Queen and leader of the Amazons which requires that she appeases the gods.
Major Story Arcs
From evidence derived of Antiope's daughter, Pythia, it seems as if at least 20 years has gone by. Hippolyta and Antiope lead for some time and built the city Themyscira. Their job to spread the message of Gaea (peace, tolerance and equality) was difficult however, because few men ever trusted the Amazons and Ares kept creating trouble for them. As time goes on, they become more isolated and their population grows due to the freeing of women from slavery. Zeus had a son called Hercules and he travelled to Themyscira with his friend Theseus. Arriving in Themyscira, Hercules demanded that Hippolyta give him the Girdle of Hippolyta. She refused, and offered to do battle for ownership of the girdle. Hippolyta won the battle and Hercules offered an alliance with them. The Amazons allowed them to stay as Antiope fell in love with Theseus and Hippolyta with Hercules. However, in his madness, Hercules drugged Hippolyta who found herself in chains the next day. Hercules' army pillaged Themyscira and stole their treasures, including the Girdle of Hippolyta. Hercules left leaving some of his men behind to keep an eye on the city. One of the goddesses granted Hippolyta strength which allowed her to break free of the chains and free the Amazons around the city. All of the Amazons fought until every single man was dead. Antiope on the other hand was still angry. She swore to kill Hercules and take back the Girdle of Hippolyta. Hippolyta on the other hand saw things on a different level, explaining that this was not the way of the Amazons. Doing so would only bring them to Hercules' level. Antiope threw her Girdle at Hippolyta's feet, she then left, half of the Amazons choosing to leave with her and the rest staying with Hippolyta. It was the last time these two sisters would ever see each other again.
The goddesses appeared again, displeased that the amazons had failed in their mission to spread peace. The goddesses decided that the word Amazon would, from now on, be associated with death and not peace. As penance, each of the Amazons were give a pair of steel bracelets to wear forever, to remind them of their humiliation. They then began a new journey, and Poseidon parted the sea so they could travel. They found an island called Paradise Island and on that island they built a new city, called Themyscira once again. As long as they were on the island, they were immortal. There, Hippolyta ruled for 3000 years.
From time to time, people would be able to get through the mists that shielded Paradise Island from the rest of the world. One of these people was Diana Trevor, a World War II pilot who had crash landed on the island. During that time, she battled with the Amazons against the evils of the island. During one of these battles she fired an important shot from her gun, and gave her life in doing so. Some time after the battle, Hippolyta had a strange feeling about that woman. The Oracle explained to Hippolyta that she was the reincarnation of the first woman murdered, though she was pregnant. The strange feeling that Hippolyta was having was that she wanted a daughter, and so the Oracle and goddesses granted her wish. Hippolyta moulded a baby from clay and the last soul from the Well of Souls. A true baby, a baby of flesh, was born. Hippolyta named her Diana, after Diana Trevor in her honour.
Diana grew up with many sisters, though none of them were her age. Magdala, a sorceress, created an identical playmate for Diana. One of Hippolyta's enemies, Dark Raven, planned to kidnap Diana, but ended up kidnapping the playmate instead. When Diana turned twenty two, the gods demanded that a champion be sent to Man's World. Hippolyta forbade Diana from competing, but since the competitors were required to wear masks and hence could hide her identity, she did so anyway. Diana won and after completing one more test, she was made the champion and given a costume, based on Diana Trevor.
Wally West and Wonder Woman go on a journey to restore the Donna Troy that they knew. Hippolyta reveals that it was Donna Troy who was kidnapped by the Dark Angel, thinking that it was Diana. She was cursed to live multiple lives, all which in ended in tragedy. Hippolyta and Jay Garrick go back in time to fix the problems with Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) and some problems caused by Dark Raven. During this time, Hippolyta became the 1940s Wonder Woman and joins the Justice Society Of America. With their help, Hippolyta defeats the Dark Angel. Hippolyta remains there, in the past for some time, but eventually she returns to the present. When Hippolyta returned to the present, she discovered that the Amazons had broken up. While the general public believe that they all live in one group, the truth is that they live in different tribes. One tribe, the Bana Mighdall, felt that Hippolyta had given up on her role as queen because she fought in Man's World, even though it was because of the gods that she was forced to fight. Even her Themyscira Amazons felt she wasn't doing her job as queen. With the Amazons losing their respect for her and wanting to battle, she abdicated and went to fight alongside her daughter. Diana and Donna Troy both were offered rule, but both of them turned it down. The Amazons then abolished their old way of rule and opted for individual self-rule. Hippolyta continued fighting in Man's World alongside the Justice Society. During the " Our Worlds at War" story arc, an enemy called Imperiex attempted to destroy Earth, the Amazons were also involved. While Hippolyta was fighting Imperiex, Diana came to fight as well. Diana ordered her mother to leave, but Hippolyta still wanted to fight. She saved her daughter's life by pushing Diana out of the way when the Imperiex probe was about to kill her. The explosion killed only Hippolyta herself.
Some time later Hippolyta was resurrected by the witch and long time enemy of the Amazons; Circe as a part of a wider scheme. Enraged that Diana was being detained and tortured by the Department of Metahuman Affairs, Hippolyta rallied the Amazons and invaded Washington D.C. in an effort to free her daughter and take revenge on those responsible. The discredit the invasion brought the Amazons was the ultimate goal behind Circe's spell casting and the ire of Athena (Granny Goodness in disguise) left Hippolyta almost completely alone on Paradise Island as most of her people had been robbed of their memories and powers.
During this time, she would not receive any visitors, not even Diana. But she would release four imprisoned Amazons, who had once attempted to murder Diana while an infant, deeming her an abomination and a dire threat to the Queen they held in so high regard.
When the Gods returned to Earth, Zeus found the Amazons failing his expectations, so he created a new type of male amazons who would share Paradise Island with the older Amazons, who eventually regained their memories and returned home. The Manazons leader, Archillies, would favor Alkyone, leader of the four imprisoned Amazons, effectively replacing Hippolyta as Queen. For her own safety, Hippolyta was placed in house arrest somewhere on the island as Alkyone also relieved Diana of her titles and rank, before intending to return Diana's clay body to the dark creature that made up the heart of Paradise Island.
Hippolyta was freed with the aid of Donna Troy in time to hear Alkyone boast that she would gladly sacrifice the entire island if she had to, if it meant Hippolyta would endure. Hippolyta respectfully renounced Alkyone's actions, after planting three arrows in her, fatally wounding her.
With the reality changing effects of Flashpoint affecting DC, Wonder Woman, as with all DC titles, were renumbered and rebooted.
Hippolyta appears in the DCnU looking closer to her pre-Crisis incarnation, as she is once again blond. She is still Queen of the Amazons, who generally appears more scrapped down than previous incarnations, and she commands instant respect from her subjects, Diana included. It has been revealed that Hippolyta once had an affair with Zeus, King of the Gods, and that the product of the union is Diana. However, knowing Hera and her vindictive streak, Hippolyta chose to leave Zeus, who did not follow her, and raise Diana on her own, concocting the story of Diana having been a clay sculpture that was brought to life. Whenever the rest of the island knew the truth or not is not known. When Strife revealed the truth of Diana's birth, Hippolyta knew Hera wouldn't be far behind, and when the two Queens finally met, Hippolyta asked for forgiveness, some Hera couldn't give and turned the Queen of the Amazons into a stone or clay statue and her people into snakes.
It is suspected Hippolyta will be the target of Diana's upcoming journey into the underworld for a loved one.
Princess Diana , Wonder Woman
Antiope, Hippolyta's sister, later Queen of the Bana.
Phillipus, general and former co-ruler of Paradise Island.
Artemis, of Bana-Mighdall, Bana warrior, former co-ruler of Paradise Island and former Wonder Woman.
Donna Troy, the first Wonder Girl and member of the Titans of Myth, Queen Hippolyta's adopted daughter.
Cassandra Sandsmark, the second Wonder Girl, daughter of Zeus.
Nubia, is Wonder Woman's "black sister" Queen Hippolyta's daughter.
The Olympian, Achilles Warkiller became the King of the Amazons, later gives Queen Hippolyta back the throne.
Steve Trevor, love interest to Wonder Woman, first man on Themyscira and honorary Amazon.
The Amazons, of Themyscira.
Powers and Abilities
Hippolyta possesses the standard abilities of the Amazons, she is immortal and possesses great superhuman physical strength, speed, durability, healing, and enhanced senses.
Hippolyta is around 3,000 years old and has been a warrior for most of her life. She has nearly unparalleled combat training and has even defeated Ares the God Of War in battle.
The story starts in the white house, with Steve Trevor briefing the president about the ancient island of Themyscira and the imminent attack on the island by the nation of Kasnia. The president seems indifferent to the attack. Meanwhile in Themyscira Princess Diana is practising combat with three minotaurs when Queen Hippolyta shows up the summons the princess as she was visited by the oracle, who informed her of "pressing matters". However at the same moment the forces of Kasnia mount an attack on Themyscira. As the Amazons prepare to defend their home against the invaders, Princess Diana is forbidden by her mother to take part in the battle. She leaves an Amazon to watch over her and to make sure that she doesn't get involved in the battle. However Diana manages to knock out her watcher and escape. Although the Amazons fight valiantly they are hard pressed by the modern technological weapons of the Kasnians. Just as the Kasnians gain the upper hand and the Amazons are about to retreat Princess Diana arrives in complete battle attire.
In Other Media
She was in the 1974 Wonder Woman movie played by Charlene Holt.
Hippolyta appeared in film again in the animated Wonder Woman movie, which was released in 2009. Like in the comics she was strongly against Diana traveling to Man's World, but didn't fight Diana after Diana won the challenge to got to Man's World.
- Wonder Woman (1975 television series)
She made an appearance in the 1975 Wonder Woman series.
In 1978 an animated Hippolyta appeared as a guest star on Super Friends.
Hippolyta also appeared in the 1988 Superman cartoon in the episode Superman and Wonder Woman vs the Sorceress of Time.
- Justice League and Justice League Unlimited
In 2001 she appeared on the Justice League show. On Justice League Unlimited she was saved from Hades by the Justice League in the Paradise Lost episode that revealed the story of the Amazons. She would also make appearances in Secret Origins, Fury and the Balance.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold
She played a minor role in the episode "Triumverate of Terror," and was knocked out when the Joker infiltrated Paradise Island in order to kidnap Diana.
She was mentioned in a episode of Smallville.